by Chris MaGee
I have to admit it's been hard to keep my eyes and ears open for new Japanese film fest news when I've been busy with my head down working to get the 2nd annual Shinsedai Cinema Festival ready for next month. One piece of news that came out this past week that was way to big not to notice though was the first films announced for the 32nd Pia Film Festival. Here's just a sampling of what the organizers have planned when the fest kicks off next month.
- The international premiere of "Megane (Glasses) director Naoko Ogigami's the shot in Toronto comedy "Toilet" starring Canadian actors Alex House, Tatinana Maslany and David Rendall as siblings who discover their real mother (played by Masako Motai) might actually be Japanese. Check out the trailer for "Toilet" below.
- (As we reported earlier this week) The biopic of of "GeGeGe no Kitaro" creator Shigeru Mizuni and his wife of over four decades Nunoe Mura directed by Takuji Suzuki and titled "GeGeGe no Nyōbō".
- Takashi Hisahi's over 4 and a half hour film "Heaven's Story" about the murder of a family and the revenge and redemption that follows in its wake.
- Koji Wakamatsu Special - a retrospective of nine of the godfather of pinku eiga's including 1970's "Sex Jack", 1975's "Shinjuku Mary", and 1967's "Sex Wanderer" (above).
- A lecture by world famous animator Koji Yamamura whose 2002 film "Atama-yama (Mt. Head)"was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short.
Plus for fans of film in general audiences at this year's Pia Film Festival will be able to catch a trio of films by American indie pioneer John Cassavetes, plus three films by Korean filmmaker Lee Sang-Woo.
This being the Pia Film Festival there are also a ton of brand new indie filmmakers who are having their work screened for the very first time. One of the filmmaking newcomers included in this year's line-up who has already had sucess on the festival circuit is Shoh Kataoka whose "Jellyfish Boy" will be part of this year's line-up. (It'll also be screened right here in Toronto as part of the 2nd annual Shinsedai Cinema Festival too!)
You can take a look at all the films that this year's Pia Film Festival, which runs from July 16th to 30th in Tokyo, has lined up by visiting their official website here.